This week’s guru

Awayday thrills kill sense of team spirit

Many bosses take advantage of the summer period to give staff awaydays at a
sporting events, believing it will boost motivation and improve morale.

But consultancy Right Track has warned that awaydays are not as effective as
a specific team building exercises.

Guru tends to agree after returning from a go karting day with a number of
colleagues. He lost precious seconds on the starting grid as he checked his
mirror, indicated and released his handbrake.

As Guru approached the first corner he was outraged as Phil from accounts
overtook him dangerously on the inside. On the back straight Guru’s PA, Mandy,
shot by whooping like a banshee, steering with one hand, while extending a
raised index finger.

By the time Guru had completed a lap the race was over, then the MD drenched
him with a bottle of cheap wine given to the winner.

Citizens council in a purple haze

Guru has never been a great one for meddling with drugs. His patchy memory
of the 1960s has more to do with age than hallucinogenic drugs (although he did
once have a funny turn following two teaspoons of Nightnurse and half a bottle
of single malt).

But drugs obviously have some ‘pulling power’ – even when it comes to
recruitment. More than 5,000 people have requested application packs to join a
citizens council advising on drug use within the NHS.

The Institute for Clinical Excellence is after 30 people with
"old-fashioned common sense". How do you test for such a thing? Guru
assumes it includes asking aspiring applicants to rewire a plug.

Alas, creative thought and common sense are mutually exclusive. Guru had
some fabulous thoughts on new metrics to measure human capital while wandering
around the super-market yesterday, for example, but singularly failed to buy
any cheddar (which was a shame because he was due to cook Mrs Guru macaroni

The NHS must harness this great idea – we obviously need more electricians
managing patient waiting lists.

It’s all in the colour not the cut

Guru has a reputation as the Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen of the office when it
comes to his dress sense as he has always been convinced that your clothes form
a vital first impression on people and say a lot about the type of person you

He is thinking of becoming more scientific about his choice of work wear,
however, after reading research by image consultancy Haines and Bonner that
reveals he might not be projecting the right sort of image. He will never attend
a meeting again in his pink pin-stripe shirt because apparently this colour
means you are not important and lack confidence.

Instead, he will be dressed from head to toe in lilac, which managers should
wear when they want to be seen as diplomatic, unselfish or creative, advises
H&B. Guru will increasingly be seen about the office wearing some item of
red as the study claims this is sure to attract the opposite sex – its says you
are exciting, upbeat and confident. Yeah baby!

Will Guru raise a virtual laugh?

Guru was thrilled by some recent research conducted by’s
recent research which reveals there is a demand for his unique perspective on
the HR world to be extended to the web.

As someone whose last PC problem was resolved by the long-suffering IT
department troubleshooter pointing out that his mouse mat was fouled by a
coating of accumulated marmite from his morning toast, Guru is not sure he’s up
to the task.

But ever a sucker for public demand, Guru wants to know just what his
disciples think. Should he go online? What on earth would he do in Cyberspace?

Best suggestion gets a bottle of champagne – assuming Guru learns how to
open his new in-box without deleting the contents. Contact

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